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The biggest disadvantage of HDX is the amount of time it takes to download a full-length movie, if downloading it as opposed to streaming. For streaming, a fast broadband Internet connection is required, with bandwidth of over 4.5mbps for HDX, and over 2.25mbps for regular HD. Vudu offers a speed test page where users can check their Internet connection bandwidth, which can vary by day of week and time of day.
There is another player in the home video arena and it has gradually been making its presence felt. I am, of course, referring to movie downloads. Although not yet mature, this format can no longer be ignored as an irrelevancy. Virtually everyone agrees that downloading represents the future of video content; what experts cannot agree on is when "the future" will arrive. Two years? Five years? Ten years? The answer will go a long way toward determining whether Blu-Ray becomes more than a niche or passing fad.
There are two ways that downloading can be used: to buy movies or to stream them. Thus far, the method has proven to be more popular for the latter use than the former. In general, those who want to own a movie still prefer to have something they can touch (a disc) rather than an amorphous file on a hard-drive. However, as it changed with music, it will change with movies. With streaming, it's another matter altogether. Netflix has been at the forefront of streaming, making numerous titles available for impulse, on-demand viewing. Netflix-ready devices that allow seamless playing on a television (with excellent quality) include Roku video players, X-Boxes, PS3s, and Samsung/Sony/LG Blu-Ray players. There's no extra change for the streaming feature; it comes as part of the Netflix monthly membership and greatly increases the number of titles that can be watched. I spent some time playing with streaming via a PS3 to a 52" Samsung HDTV before writing this and was suitably impressed. The picture was on par with that of an upconverted DVD, which is to say, far better than I expected. And there were no hiccups in delivery. I had full fast-forward/rewind/pause capability for every movie I watched. 2b1af7f3a8